October 17, 1957. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory takes the first U.S. picture of Sputnik. Continue reading Today in Smithsonian History: October 17, 1957
September 29, 1970. The Tillinghast Reflector is dedicated at the Mount Hopkins Observatory in Arizona. Continue reading Today in Smithsonian History: September 29, 1970
June 30, 1975. Keep watching the skies! Or don’t. It’s a sad day for space geeks as the volunteer Moonwatchers program ends. Continue reading Today in Smithsonian History: June 30, 1975
May 28, 1900. Smithsonian scientists take a spring break in North Carolina, avoid getting sunburned. Continue reading Today in Smithsonian History: May 28, 1900
March 9, 1994. A Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory experiment that tethers a satellite with a plastic cable proves successful. And we can’t even keep our dog on a leash. Continue reading Today in Smithsonian History: March 9, 1994
March 1, 1890. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory has its humble beginnings in a small shed behind the Castle. Continue reading Today in Smithsonian History: March 1, 1890
April is Volunteer Appreciation Month. Meet astronomy aficionado John Hockmeier, who once got his comeuppance from a six-year-old. Continue reading John Hockmeier
With a solar oven, of course! Astrophysicist Charles Greeley Abbot, second director of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and fifth secretary of the Smithsonian, invented a solar oven in 1940. Solar energy was transmitted by mirror to a square oven where cakes and cookies could be baked. Solar Sweets Questions come alive at SeriouslyAmazing.com
In the good old summertime. Loyal B. Aldrich of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (1908-1955) and Astrophysicist Charles Greeley Abbot (fifth Secretary of the Smithsonian, 1928-1944) playing tennis behind the Smithsonian Institution Building, next to the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in 1922. The National Air Museum Quonset Hut is in the background.
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory installs a new electronic image processing system, coupled with a VAX computer, for producing video and hard-copy images of observational data from both ground-based and space-borne telescopes.